Development Manager

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.


Position Summary


The full-time Development Manager, Southern California position is located within the Development Department, in NRDC's sustainable Santa Monica, California office – The Robert Redford Building. The Development Manager reports to the Regional Director of Development, Southern California.


While assisting the Regional Director of Development in a wide variety of fundraising initiatives involving Major Gifts (as defined as individuals, family foundations and event attendees) and Planned Gifts in Southern California, the Manager of Development also assumes responsibility for their own portfolio of major gift donors. The Manager will take a lead in implementing the fundraising strategies for these supporters and prospecting new sources of philanthropic support; including cultivating, soliciting and upgrading donors and prospects. In addition, the Manager will help oversee the operations of the NRDC Los Angeles Leadership Council, the region’s premier volunteer donor body. This position requires someone who can multi-task in a fast-paced and energetic environment.


  • Creates and implements moves management strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of a portfolio of approximately 80 Major Gifts, Gift Planning donors and prospects, and event attendees in Southern California.
  • Manages and tracks deliverables for Major Gifts and Gift Planning prospects and donors in Southern California.
  • Helps craft and implement stewardship initiatives to individually recognize major supporters and Gift Planning members in Southern California.
  • Helps write a variety of fundraising materials, including cover letters, thank you notes, renewal requests, and other documents as needed for Major Gifts and Gift Planning donors.
  • Conducts research as needed to identify major gifts donors and prospects.
  • Helps manage and prepare programming and communications for the L.A. Leadership Council.
  • Plans donor cultivation and stewardship events on an as-needed basis. Helps develops and implement strategies for identifying and inviting major gifts prospects to events.
  • Other tasks as needed.


  • Bachelor's degree, or equivalent experience
  • Minimum of five years of fundraising experience
  • Knowledge of major donor development best practice
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to make decisions based upon sound judgment, analysis, wisdom, and experience
  • Utilizes discretion and maintains donor confidentiality
  • Experience working with trustees and major supporters in a professional manner
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks and perform well under deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and be proactive
  • Strong, collaborative team member
  • Sound decision making
  • Adept at performing donor/prospect research
  • Adept at planning and executing small-scale events
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Knowledge of fundraising CRM software
  • Ability to work occasional evenings or weekends for special functions or community events
  • Experience working in the environmental sector or on political/issue campaigns a plus.

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, for positions based in San Francisco, CA we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal.  We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


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